Waiting for a facelift

IN Gandhinagar

Waiting for a facelift

Accumulated garbage on either sides of the street and roads dotted with potholes and water are a common sight in Gandhinagar. If that’s not enough, roads are chock-a-block with traffic and vehicles are parked in restricted areas.

When it rains, sewage and rainwater enter the houses while there is also no respite from mosquitoes, which have made this area their breeding ground. Gandhinagar, one of the oldest localities of Bangalore, is plagued by ills and as of now, there seems to be no solution.

Prabhu Dev, a 62-year-old who has been living in Gandhinagar since he was a child, says he has seen tremendous change over the years. “Back then, the locality had more residents but now it has become very commercial. This place has had a lot of hotels coming up over the years, which have made it very crowded. Parking is another menace. People park their cars in the morning and don’t take it out even in the night. Sometime, vehicles are parked for more than two days and there’s no one to keep a check on these things,’’ he says.

He adds that there is no place to walk as the roads are small, the footpath is encroached by street vendors and vehicles are parked on both the sides of the road.

Ranjan, who works in a local company, says, “Since this area is close to Majestic bus stand and the railway station, people who want to set up a business come here. Gandhinagar offers numerous business opportunities and people can earn good money even by selling little things like hair bands and clips.’’

He adds, “Most of the products are available for cheaper rates which are easily accessible for lower middle class and middle class families unlike other areas like Commercial Street and Brigade Road, where prices are exorbitant.’’

The improper drainage system here, like in most parts of the City, has resulted in inconveniencing the common man. The residents and shopkeepers in Gandhinagar too bear the brunt.

Shekhar, who has his office here, has to drain out water which enters his office when it rains. “If we complain to the BBMP, they take several days to come and clean it. So we end up cleaning and it’s risky to clean it as the water is
mixed with all sorts of garbage with mosquitoes lingering on it.”

The number of street vendors putting up stalls on the footpath has made it even more difficult to walk on the already dirty street.  But the vendors have another story to narrate. Mukesh, who has a stall selling socks, says that it is because of the pedestrians that they earn their daily bread and butter. He adds, “In a day, I have to give Rs 50 to 60 to the police to let him give me a small space on the footpath. Sometimes, I don’t even earn that much money. So if pedestrians are not there, we cannot function.’’

 People have also been complaining of robbery in broad daylight here. “We have four police inspectors on the roads and they also patrol in such a way that people are aware that we are around to prevent robbery and ensure the safety of women,’’ says Lokesh Kumar, a police inspector patrolling in Gandhinagar.

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